Friday, 24 March 2017

Canadian Teacher Wins $1,000,000 Global Teacher Prize 2017

Maggie MacDonnell, who teaches at the Ikusik School in Salluit, a remote innuit village in the Canadian Arctic, is the winner of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2017. Now in its third year, the US $1 million award is the largest prize of its kind, and was set up to recognize one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.

After completing her Masters degree, Maggie MacDonnell sought out opportunities to teach in indigenous communities in Canada, and for the last six years has been a teacher in the Canadian Arctic. There are tremendous gender issues in the Inuit region of Nunavik where teenage pregnancies are common and gender roles often burden young girls with large domestic duties. Also, in areas of high deprivation, isolation and limited resources, some teenagers turn to drinking, smoking, drugs and self-harm as forms of escape and release. There is also a high rate of suicideMaggie’s approach has been about turning students from “problems” to “solutions.” She has created a life skills program specifically for girls which has seen a 500 per cent improvement in girls’ registration. Maggie has also dramatically improved school attendance by getting her students involved in running a community kitchen, attending suicide prevention training and hiking through national parks to understand environmental stewardship. Maggie also established a fitness centre that has become a hub for youth and adults in the local community. It is relieving stress, helping young people grow stronger physically and mentally and bringing the whole community together in a profound and lasting way. Maggie has also been a temporary foster parent in the community, including to some of her own students.
Further information about the Global Teacher Prize is available here:
To join the conversation online follow #TeachersMatter on: and

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

French Summer Institutes at UBC

July 10 – 27, French Summer Institutes at UBC. All BC certified teachers and some French Immersion or Dual-track school staff may qualify for a bursary covering tuition and some travel expenses. For more information and to apply for a bursary, visit, email or call toll-free 1-866-528-7485.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


The Canadian Women’s Foundation and advertising agency Havas have joined forces to help strengthen girls’ confidence through #GirlPowered, a national campaign that empowers girls to challenge limiting stereotypes and sexist messages in advertising by using their voices. This campaign was created on the premise that every day girls are faced with advertising telling them how to think, dress and act. These constant reminders can affect their mental health – girls aged 9 to 13 experience a sharp decline in confidence and higher rates of depression than younger girls. The campaign features a powerful video of several girls creating a #GirlPowered message and having it displayed to their surprise in real-time on a jumbo screen in Yonge-Dundas Square. To ensure that other girls have the same experience, young women across Canada can go to and create their own positive #GirlPowered message and share it on social media. Seeing these words amplified to the world demonstrates that each girl’s voice matters.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Kids Write 4 Kids Call for Entries

Is your child sharing stories on Instagram, or Snap Chat? Do they write outlandish stories for classroom assignments that bring tears to your eyes? Kids Write 4 Kids is seeking children in grades 4 – 8, who have an interest in sharing tales of adventures, travel or something that makes them giggle. Kids Write 4 Kids is an annual writing challenge that provides winner(s) with the opportunity to be a published author before high school. In addition to author fame, the annual proceeds from book sales are donated to that year's winners' schools. School(s) are also provided with the option of selling their author’s book for fundraising. Winner(s) will have an opportunity to take part in the following year’s judging panel. As of 2016, Kids Write 4 Kids has published ten winning titles from youth authors across Canada. These books are available in the Apple iBookstore, Amazon Kindle and Kobo. Find out more about the contest and published titles at or email

Saturday, 2 July 2016

2016 Gunter History Awards

The Canadian War Museum and the Friends of the Canadian War Museum have awarded the Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Award to five high school seniors in Canada for their outstanding works of art and scholarship on the theme of ordinary people in extraordinary times. Judged by a multidisciplinary committee, the annual awards are open to all graduating high school seniors and carry a $1000 cash prize for each of the winners. This year’s entries explored how the experience of war has changed someone’s life. The 2016 laureates are:
  •   Connor B. Hawes of Grand Forks Secondary School in Grand Forks, BC for his essay “Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times”;
  •    Alexa Ishikawa of Centennial Secondary School in Coquitlam, BC for her video Paper Cranes”;
  •   Chantelle Masterson of Fredericton High School in Fredericton, NB for her artwork entitled “Great Uncle Merle”;
  •   Eric Shepphard of Etobicoke School of the Arts in Oakville, ON for his essay “Every Soldier has a Story”;
  •   Gaurav Varshneya of Magee Secondary School in Vancouver, BC for his video  “Operation: White Dove.”
The winning entries are posted at: The call for submissions for the 2017 Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards will begin in September 2016. 

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Accessibility and Inclusive Education

Educators today are faced with the challenge of integrating technology into the classroom and teaching students of all learning styles and abilities, including those with accessibility needs. By providing accessible technology in the classroom, students with a wide-range of learning styles are given equal education opportunities. Find out how seven Canadian teachers have successfully incorporated personalized learning in the classroom at: Microsoft is dedicated to building accessibility into its products and to providing accessibility resources for educators, fostering learning for all. To encourage tech familiarity and adoption, Microsoft has launched a series of free Accessibility Workshops for educators across the country. For more details visit: A free educators resource is also available:

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Awards for Canadian Teachers

A number of national and provincial/territorial awards are given to Canadian teachers each year to recognize their outstanding dedication or innovative contributions to the field of education. For more information see the "Other Teaching Awards" link on the Prime Minister's Awards website.

Canadian School Calendar

The Canadian Education Association prepares a school calendar each year, which is free online, download here. The School Calendar provides all opening and closing dates for primary and secondary schools in every Canadian province and territory.